The term emotional intelligence describes the ability for people to identify and manage their own emotions, but it also defines the way people react to the emotions of others. People who have obtained this intelligence are better able to handle conflicts, respond to the needs of others, and avoid the disruptions that particularly intense emotions can cause in their own everyday lives. Here are ways to improve your own emotional intelligence in five key areas.
Self-awareness is important for being able to identify the emotions you experience daily. There are a few ways to improve your ability to do this.
Self-management involves discovering ways to handle your emotions once you can recognize what you’re feeling. In short, it’s about discovering the things that trigger your reactions, managing internal overreactions, and even attending to your own personal emotional needs. Sometimes, the best way to prevent a negative reaction to external stimulus (or an internal overreaction) involves changing your sensory input. If you’re in a warm room, go to a cool place. If it’s loud where you are, find a quiet place. This can “shock” your system and allow you to see things more clearly. Use this time to seek help from others, to talk to a trusted friend, or to simply be alone until you feel better.
Motivation can be described as the inner desire to accomplish something, whether that something is a project at work, emotional stability, or even a crossword puzzle. Surprisingly, many people who struggle emotionally are unable to identify the things that motivate them, so this is where you need to start. There are many ways to do this.
Empathy is your ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes to understand how and why they have certain emotions. It’s one of the most important skills you’ll ever learn as it can dictate the course of your relationships throughout life, whether they are with friends, romantic partners, family members, or coworkers. You can practice empathy to improve your emotional intelligence each day.
Once you’ve taken the time to practice all the aforementioned facets of emotional intelligence, you can start using them in your everyday set of social skills. This takes place in three distinct steps.
Emotional intelligence isn’t taught in school, but it’s just as valuable as knowing how to read or write. Improving your emotional wellbeing can improve every single aspect of your life – at home, at work, and in everyday social settings. It can even help you build your own self-esteem, which can go a long way toward reaching your personal goals.